CEATEC 2009: Is Sony betting the farm on bringing 3D home in 2010?

Like Panasonic, Sony is going big on 3D TV here at CEATEC Japan 2009, with a punchy stage presentation drawing heavily on group companies' music, movies and more.

It has a 3D theatre in the depths of the stand and the frankly rather cramped booths above showing the way 3D can enhance TV, sports and games, but there's no sign of the banks of TVs we saw last year, and Organic LED TV technology is notable by its absence after the big splash it made in 2008.

Clearly boss Sir Howard Stringer's dictum to put OLED on hold until the TV division gets back to something near profitability has been taken to heart, and Sony is making even more of a one-technology showing here than its rival from Osaka.

Beyond 3D TV, there was a marked lack of real product on display, and round the back of the stand, away from the main stage, there's more of a 'science fair' feel to the enterprise, with a whole range of prototypes and concepts on show.

There are low-energy TVs made possible by backlight improvements, TVs that sense the presence of viewers and switch off when there's no-one watching – although the hapless engineer had some problem making the demo set do so when we were there – and all manner of face-recognition and face-tracking systems for games and more.

But perhaps the most enticing bit of technology was a super-thin, ultra-flexible TFT display, just 2mm thick, and shown above adorning both a portable media player concept and a bangle-shaped MP3 player, seen above.

The product that got our vote, however, was this netbook concept, with its one-piece display and keyboard design.

Bit sad, though, that for us, Sony's must-have product of the show was only a mock-up, but click here for our video tour of the Sony stand...

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.